1948 in film

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The year 1948 in film involved some significant events.

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Events

Supreme Court of the United States Highest court in the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions.

United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 U.S. 131 (1948), was a landmark United States Supreme Court antitrust case that decided the fate of movie studios owning their own theatres and holding exclusivity rights on which theatres would show their films. It would also change the way Hollywood movies were produced, distributed, and exhibited. The Supreme Court affirmed in this case that the existing distribution scheme was in violation of the antitrust laws of the United States, which prohibit certain exclusive dealing arrangements.

Block booking

Block booking is a system of selling multiple films to a theater as a unit. Block booking was the prevailing practice among Hollywood's major studios from the turn of the 1930s until it was outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. (1948). Under block booking, "independent ('unaffiliated') theater owners were forced to take large numbers of [a] studio's pictures sight unseen. Those studios could then parcel out second-rate product along with A-class features and star vehicles, which made both production and distribution operations more economical." The element of the system involving the purchase of unseen pictures is known as blind bidding.

Top-grossing films (U.S.)

RankTitleStudioGross
1. The Red Shoes Eagle-Lion $5,000,000
2. The Three Musketeers MGM $4,507,000
3. Red River United Artists $4,500,000
4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Warner Bros. $4,307,000
5. When My Baby Smiles at Me 20th Century Fox $4,200,000
6. Easter Parade MGM $4,100,000
7. Johnny Belinda Warner Bros. $4,100,000
8. The Snake Pit 20th Century Fox $4,100,000
9. Joan of Arc RKO $4,000,000
10. Adventures of Don Juan Warner Bros. $3,700,000
11. Homecoming MGM $3,420,000
12. The Loves of Carmen Columbia $3,395,000
13. Key Largo Warner Bros. $3,289,000
14. That Lady in Ermine 20th Century Fox $3,250,000
15. The Emperor Waltz Paramount $3,209,000
16. The Search MGM $3,191,000
17. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House RKO $3,140,000
18. Hamlet Rank Film $3,075,000
19. State of the Union MGM $2,745,000
20. A Foreign Affair Paramount $2,450,000
21. Sorry, Wrong Number Paramount $2,200,000

(*) After theatrical re-issue(s)

Awards

Category/Organization 6th Golden Globe Awards
March 16, 1949
21st Academy Awards
March 24, 1949
Best Film Johnny Belinda
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Hamlet
Best Director John Huston
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Best Actor Laurence Olivier
Hamlet
Best Actress Jane Wyman
Johnny Belinda
Best Supporting Actor Walter Huston
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Best Supporting Actress Ellen Corby
I Remember Mama
Claire Trevor
Key Largo
Best Screenplay, Adapted Richard Schweizer
The Search
John Huston
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Best Screenplay, Original Richard Schweizer
The Search
Best Foreign Language Film Hamlet Monsieur Vincent

Top ten money making stars

RankActor/Actress
1. Bing Crosby
2. Betty Grable
3. (tie) Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
4. Gary Cooper
5. Bob Hope
6. Humphrey Bogart
7. Clark Gable
8. Cary Grant
9. Spencer Tracy
10. Ingrid Bergman

Notable films released in 1948

U.S.A. unless stated

#

A

<i>Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein</i> 1948 American horror comedy film directed by Charles Barton

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is a 1948 American horror comedy film directed by Charles Barton and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello.

Bud Abbott American actor, producer and comedian

William Alexander "Bud" Abbott was an American actor, best known for his film comedy double act, as straight man to Lou Costello.

Lou Costello American actor and comedian

Louis Francis Cristillo, professionally known as Lou Costello, was an American actor, best known for his film comedy double act with straight man Bud Abbott and their comedy routine "Who's On First?"

B

B.F.'s Daughter is a 1948 drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin. It is adapted from John P. Marquand's 1946 novel of the same name, about a prominent couple whose marital tensions come to a boiling point during World War II. The book was controversial for its treatment of social conflicts and adultery, but the movie is a sanitized and fairly conventional love story.

Barbara Stanwyck American actress

Barbara Stanwyck was an American actress, model, and dancer. She was a film and television star, known during her 60-year career as a consummate and versatile professional with a strong, realistic screen presence, and a favorite of directors including Cecil B. DeMille, Fritz Lang, and Frank Capra. After a short, but notable, career as a stage actress in the late 1920s, she made 85 films in 38 years in Hollywood, before turning to television.

<i>Berlin Express</i> 1948 film by Jacques Tourneur

Berlin Express is a 1948 American drama film directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Robert Ryan, Merle Oberon and Paul Lukas.

C

<i>Call Northside 777</i> 1948 film by Henry Hathaway

Call Northside 777 is a 1948 reality-based film noir directed by Henry Hathaway and starring James Stewart. The picture parallels a true story of a Chicago reporter who proved that a man in prison for murder was wrongly convicted 11 years before. The names of the real wrongly convicted men were Majczek and Marcinkiewicz for the murder of Chicago Traffic Police Officer William D. Lundy.

James Stewart American actor

James Maitland Stewart was an American actor and military officer who is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. With a career that spanned 62 years, Stewart was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player who was known for his distinctive drawl and down-to-earth persona, which helped him often portray American middle-class men struggling in crisis. Many of the films in which he starred have become enduring classics.

<i>Campus Honeymoon</i> 1948 film by Richard Sale

Campus Honeymoon is a 1948 American comedy film directed by Richard Sale and written by Jerome Gruskin and Richard Sale. The film stars Lyn Wilde, Lee Wilde, Adele Mara, Richard Crane, Hal Hackett and Wilson Wood. The film was released on February 1, 1948, by Republic Pictures.

D

<i>The Dark Past</i> 1948 film by Rudolph Maté

The Dark Past is a 1948 psychological thriller film noir directed by Rudolph Maté, and starring William Holden, Nina Foch, and Lee J. Cobb. The film, released by Columbia Pictures, is a remake of Blind Alley (1939), also released by Columbia, and based on a play by American playwright James Warwick.

William Holden American actor

William Holden was an American actor who was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950s and 1960s. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film Stalag 17 (1953), and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for the television film The Blue Knight (1973). Holden starred in some of Hollywood's most popular and critically acclaimed films, including Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch, Picnic and Network. He was named one of the "Top 10 Stars of the Year" six times, and appeared as 25th on the American Film Institute's list of 25 greatest male stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema.

Lee J. Cobb actor

Lee J. Cobb was an American actor. He is best known for his performances in On the Waterfront (1954), 12 Angry Men (1957), and The Exorcist (1973). He also played the role of Willy Loman in the original Broadway production of Arthur Miller's 1949 play Death of a Salesman under the direction of Elia Kazan. On television, Cobb starred in the first four seasons of the Western series The Virginian. He typically played arrogant, intimidating and abrasive characters, but often had roles as respectable figures such as judges and police officers. He was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for The Brothers Karamazov (1958) and On the Waterfront (1954).

E

<i>The Eagle with Two Heads</i> 1948 film by Jean Cocteau

The Eagle with Two Heads is a French film directed by Jean Cocteau released in 1948. It was adapted from his own play L'Aigle à deux têtes which was first staged in 1946, and it retained the principal actors from the first Paris production.

Jean Cocteau French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager and filmmaker

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker, visual artist and critic. Cocteau is best known for his novels Le Grand Écart (1923), Le Livre Blanc (1928) and Les Enfants Terribles (1929), the stage plays Le Voix Humaine (1930), La Machine Infernale (1934), Les Parents terribles (1938), La Machine à écrire (1941) and L'Aigle à deux têtes (1946) and the films The Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents Terribles (1948), from his own eponymous piéce, Beauty and the Beast (1946), Orpheus (1949) and Testament of Orpheus (1960), which alongside Blood of a Poet and Orpheus constitute the so-called Orphic Trilogy. He was described as "one of [the] avant-garde's most successful and influential filmmakers" by AllMovie.

Judy Garland American actress, singer and vaudevillian

Judy Garland was an American actress, singer, dancer, and vaudevillian. During a career that spanned 45 years, she attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a juvenile Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Special Tony Award. Garland was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her live recording Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961).

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